In today’s society, business of every sort is done on computers, almost to the extent that the former definition of files and folders being physical items is nearly obsolete. Attending an institute of higher learning also means that much of assignments be downloaded from an online site and homework be completed on a computer and uploaded to a central location. As such, it can become quite time-consuming, difficult and confusing to locate appropriate files without a system of organization. On the Microsoft website, there are several articles to help a computer user get started with organization.
Of course, their number one recommendation is to use the “My Documents” folder which comes pre-installed on all of Microsoft’s operating systems. This is really a timesaver as there are so many easy ways to access it: from the Start menu (which also includes a “My Recent Documents” link), from the Open function of any Microsoft software applications, and from your desktop (by simply moving the icon on the Start menu and dragging it to the desktop). In the My Documents folder, additional folders can be created.
These should be named by category, for example, “school”, “work”, “creative writing”, “business”, etc. All folders in each of these should pertain to that subject. In the school folder, for instance, I would suggest creating a separate folder for each class (i. e. “Biology 101”, Statistics 201”, etc. ). This can then be further broken down into “assignments” and “homework”. Downloaded assignment files can be copied and pasted or drug into the assignments folder. Keeping both folder and file names short helps to find them quickly (since only a certain amount of the letters in the name will be displayed).
Names for assignment files can also include the date it is due (at the beginning of the name) and then quickly sorted by name in the view screen. I have also found it handy to use a date in the name of my professional resume file, so that I know whether or not it needs to be updated. Numbers can also be added to documents such as essays to easily show all versions until complete (you may find the need to go back to a previous version and add in a paragraph that was previously edited out).
Putting numbers at the front of the file or folder name for those that you access often will ensure they show up at the top of the list. Viewing folders and files as thumbnails is a way to display the results of your folders that is visually easy. This is a great way to preview the contents as well as easily sort through the different file extensions (is it a picture or a Word document? ). Using Microsoft Outlook for Email messages is also handy and the program works with the rest of the Microsoft Office Suite, making it easy to integrate file types.
I create folders of the same name as those in My Documents for Email messages. This way I can keep track of any messages that are in reference to a class, or work, and they can be quickly dropped into the corresponding My Documents folders. Another tip for organization is to keep the hard drive clean. At the end of the semester, the class folders with their files can be stored elsewhere on your hard drive such as in a folder named “archives” (or put on a flash drive) so as to streamline the amount of folders viewed to only documents you are currently using.
When I am using a file that I know will be of use for a limited time only, I name it “junk_” with a descriptive word at the end. When I am ready to delete those files I am no longer needing, I simply perform a search of the C drive for all files and folders with the name “junk” in them. This way, the whole of them can be deleted with only a couple clicks of the mouse. You could attach a date to the name that reminds you of when the file is obsolete and safe to be removed.
Allen, Sally. “Get organized! Organizing your computer”. Retrieved October 23, 2007 from the Women’s Media Web site: http://www. womensmedia. com/new/organizing-computer. shtml. “Organizing computer files”. Retrieved October 23, 2007 from the University of Virginia Web site: http://cti. itc. virginia. edu/~ttspeng/OrganizingComputerFiles. pdf. “Seven tips to manage your files better”. Retrieved October 23, 2007 from the Microsoft Web site: http://www. microsoft. com/atwork/manageinfo/files. mspx.
Courtney from Study Moose